2018 Super GT champion Jenson Button has confirmed that the upcoming round at Twin-Ring Motegi will mark his final appearance in the Japanese series.
Button confirmed the news in a post on Instagram, where he thanked his co-driver Naoki Yamamoto and the Team Kunimitsu Honda squad.
The 2009 Formula 1 world champion moved to Super GT off the back of a 17-year career at the top level of single-seaters, moving to the series’ GT500 class.
Button and Yamamoto went on to win the drivers’ title in their first season together, which included a victory at SUGO and podiums in three other races.
In 2019, the pair struggled to defend their championship crown and currently sit eighth in the standings heading into the final race of the season this weekend.
However, they still managed to record podium finishes in the two points-paying rounds held at Fuji Speedway.
In his message, Button described his time in Super GT as an “absolute honor” and that it had produced “some wonderful memories.”
“Ahead of this weekend’s season finale in Motegi I wanted to take this chance to announce that it will, in fact, be my last race in Super GT,” he said.
“When I decided to move away from Formula 1, I wanted to find a challenge which would scratch that competitive itch at the highest level and my two seasons in Super GT have certainly done that.
“Not only did I get to go on another journey with Honda, who have been a huge part of my racing career to date, but I also got to team up with Naoki, who is not only one of the strongest teammates I’ve ever had but also a great guy.
“Throughout my career I’ve always highlighted Japan as a special place to compete because of the incredible fans and their passion for the sport, so to have the chance to compete there throughout the year has been an absolute honor and has produced some wonderful memories.
“I’d like to, therefore, take this chance to thank those fans, my brilliant teammate Naoki, the whole of Team Kunimitsu, who have this incredibly exciting combination of a relatively young group being lead by one of the legends of motorsport in Kunumitsu-San himself.
“They demonstrated unwavering passion and professionalism throughout and are a joy to work with. I’d like to also thank the entire Honda family for helping make this another brilliant chapter in my career.”
It’s understood that Button is not currently in line to contest next month’s ‘Dream Race’ exhibition event between Super GT and DTM at Fuji Speedway.